Cholesterol Is Not Always A Killer

August 31, 2018; by Briana McDonald- Silver Bulletin (UtopiaSilver.com) At normal levels, cholesterol plays an essential role in the human body. It is both good and bad, however, if concentrations get thrown off balance and becomes too high, it could put people at risk for life threatening conditions such as a heart attack. If you diet hasn’t been exactly as it ought to be or what you have aimed for, you’ll be happy to know I put together a list of the top foods that help reduce damaging cholesterol and plaque buildup for you so you can know where to begin. Just keep in mind that cholesterol is not always a  killer; your body and your brain need it to be healthy.

What Is Cholesterol? 

Cholesterol is found in every cell of the human body and has performs vital functions like properly breaking down food, producing hormones, and creating vitamin D. Although it is manufactured by the body it can also be ingested with food. There are two types: LDL (low density lipoproteins “bad”) and HDL (high density lipoproteins, “good”) (1)

Cholesterol itself wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous without inflammation. Inflammation is the primary cause of the hardening and stiffening of arteries that comes with plaque deposits and in turn produces for inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of many diseases and heart disease is no exception.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol 

Chest pain: If the arteries that supply your heart with blood are affected you may have chest pain and other symptoms of coronary artery disease.

Heart Attack: If plaques tear or rupture, a blood clot may form at the rupture site thus blocking the flow of blood or breaking free and plugging an artery downstream. If the blood flow to your heart stops, you will have a heart attack.

Stroke: Similar to a heart attack, if blood flow to part of your brain is blocked by a blood clot you will suffer a stroke.

Causes of High Cholesterol 

There are several factors that contribute to High Cholesterol.

  1. Poor Diet – consuming saturated fat found in animal products and trans fats found in processed foods, can raise your cholesterol levels.
  2. Obesity – Having a BMI of 30 or greater puts you at risk for high cholesterol
  3. Smoking – smoking cigarettes damages the walls of your blood vessels making the likely to accumulate fatty deposits. Smoking can also lower your good cholesterol or HDL.
  4. Diabetes – having high blood sugar contributes to higher LDL and lower HDL. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries. (2)

Where Do I Begin? 

Swap Out Fats:

In place of saturated fats, consume monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats like avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds.

Swap Out Meats:

Instead of over-consuming dark red meats, opt for lean meats more often like pasture raised poultry, fish and other seafood, beans and eggs.

Hello Fiber:

Fiber and antioxidants are crucial for keeping arteries clear and healthy. Research has shown that specific compounds found in plant foods including plant sterols/stanols and isoflavones can help reduce cholesterol levels. (3)

Foods to Avoid:

  • packaged/processed foods (or pseudo-foods)
  • sugar foods and drinks
  • refined grain products
  • processed vegetable oils
  • non-organic, homogenized and pasteurized dairy
  • too much caffeine or alcohol

Foods That Help Reduce Cholesterol 

Swap out Fats:

  1. Green veggies – they are nutrient dense, reduce inflammation and are high antioxidant foods. They are loaded with phytochemicals that fight free radical damage and slow the aging process. (4)
  2. Nuts – all kinds of nuts make a good source of healthy fats and also provide a good amount of fiber. Almonds are also high in flavonnoids that help reduce inflammation.
  3. Seeds- Chia seeds and flaxseeds are a rich source of plant based omega-3 fatty acid. They also are known for providing hormone-balancing lignans. Both seeds are high in soluble and insoluble fiber which can support the health of your gut and help with weight loss.
  4. Olive Oil – also anti-inflammatory, its full of heart healthy fats! Use extra virgin to make salad dressings or add to some sauces.
  5. Avocados- one of the best sources for heart healthy fats, avocados can also stabilize blood sugar levels.
  6. Garlic- the benefits of garlic could fill an entire book, it is one of the most antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antidiabetic and immune boosting foods on the planet. It has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure and protect against infections.
  7. Turmeric- turmeric helps to lower cholesterol, prevent clots, fight viruses, kill free radicals, increase immune health, balance hormones and much more. The active ingredient in turmeric called “curcumin”” has been studied for a long time for its protective role against heart disease, cancer, colitis, arthritis and more.

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9152.php
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/symptoms-causes/syc-20350800
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21233620
  4. https://draxe.com/cholesterol-lowering-foods/

Briana McDonald-is a natural health writer and contributor to the Silver Bulletin e-News Magazine (Utopia Silver Supplements). She does free-lance health article writing as well as website and ad design.

(© (August 31, 2018) Common Law Copyright claimed by the owners and principles of UtopiaSilver.com and Skonestein, Int’l. This article may be republished without written permission with all credits and links.)

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